1. Learn how much you can get

The amount you can get as a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension depends on:

  • how long you’ve been making
  • the amount of your CPP contributions
  • the age you start getting your CPP retirement pension

Getting a full pension

To get the maximum CPP amount, which in 2019 was $1,154.58 a month, a person must:

  • have contributed to the CPP for 39 years between 18 and 65, and
  • have contributed the maximum amount.

In general, the more you earn and contribute before you start getting CPP retirement benefits, the higher your monthly benefits will be.

While the standard age for a full pension is 65, you can apply and get the CPP retirement pension as early as age 60 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the more you get each month. But there’s no financial advantage to wait until you’re past age 70.

Tracking your CPP contributions

Except for Quebec, the (CRA) gives Service Canada information about how much you earn and how much you contribute to the CPP.

Service Canada then creates a Statement of Contributions, which shows this information by year and gives an estimate of what your pension amount will be.

You can ask for a copy of your Statement of Contributions from Service Canada to help plan for your retirement. You’ll be able to see how much you contributed each year that you worked. If there’s an “M” next to a year, it means that you contributed the maximum.

Review your Statement of Contributions to make sure no contributions are missing. If there are, you can ask Service Canada to correct this.

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